New York is attempting to position itself at the forefront of the blockchain technology movement by hosting a week-long event dedicated to the topic.
The event, which will run from May 11 through May 17, has been organized by the media and research company CoinDesk and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The main event at the center of the week will be Consensus, hosted by CoinDesk, and featuring a job fair and a hackathon.
The most well known example of blockchain technology is bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has been fluctuating in value wildly and attracting a host of headlines. But there are other uses for the technology beyond currency. Blockchain basically takes data, breaks it up into tiny pieces, and stores it on computers around the world. That means the data is a lot more secure than if it was stored on a single computer or server. Because of this, blockchain has been put forward for use in online voting and banking, among other things.
New York, long acknowledged as the financial capital of the world, will have a vested interest in blockchain the more it impacts the financial sector, so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the city is attempting to edge ahead of Silicon Valley in California as the home of the developing technology.
“The goal is really to plant that flag and send a very clear message that we want to work with you, want to support you, and we ultimately want NYC to be the global capital for blockchain,” Anthony Hogrebe, senior vice president at NYCEDC, told Forbes. “We think there’s already a tremendous presence here in New York, but it’s also a nascent community. If we don’t plant a flag and make strategic investments, New York could lose that critical mass.”
Blockchain-related jobs are on the rise in New York city, according to Burning Glass, a job analytics firm. In 2015, the Bay Area in California had 250 job openings in this field, compared to just 93 in New York. However, as of November 2017, New York has 745 openings, compared to 662 in the Bay Area.
There are also a number of blockchain-related events upcoming in New York City. These include blockchain workshops, brunches, networking events, hackathons, and career fairs, showing the interest in the technology in the city.